Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or close friends, this year, time together is more important than ever before. Rather than jetting all across town for supplies and spending hours in the kitchen, make it easy on yourself and grab everything you need from Kroger. Amos Gott of AmosEvents shows us exactly what to grab and how to put it all on display so that when guests arrive, you can enjoy some much-needed together time.
The Charcuterie Board
First things first: prepare your charcuterie board. No gathering is complete without a delicious spread of gourmet meats and cheeses. While it can feel daunting to pick out the perfect pairings, Kroger makes it easy with its in-store Murray’s Cheese Shop.
When creating your spread, it’s important to represent different textures and flavors. Amos does just that by setting out Murray’s English Wensleydale with Cranberries (a fruity cheese with hints of honey), Murray’s Gorgonzola Mountain (a firmer and spicier option), and Vermont Creamery Herb de Provence Goat Cheese (a creamy goat cheese log with a French twist). The best part? Since we’re all about saving time, the Wensleydale cheese and goat cheese are both pre-cut wedges! To offset the salty flavors of your cheeses, add a handful of white, red and black seedless grapes to your spread. For a definite crowdpleaser, add La Quercia Prosciutto Americano for its rich, sweet flavor. For dipping pleasure and to pair with the prosciutto and goat cheese, Amos also sets out figs and black tea jam from Quince & Apple.
The Fruit & Cheese Spread
After your charcuterie board is prepared, it’s time to create your fruit and cheese spread, and this year it’s all about the details. Rather than creating the typical spread, Amos thoughtfully separates grapes and cheese cubes into groups to resemble a Christmas tree. Again to save time, Amos recommends purchasing pre-cut Private Selection cheese cubes, using Colby jack, mild cheddar and pepper jack in his spread, and he separates the cheeses by using leftover grapes from the charcuterie board. As an added detail, slice a kiwi into thick pieces and cut it to look like a Christmas tree star. For an even easier option, Amos also says you can use a star fruit for this detail. If you’re feeling extra festive, grab some artificial tree needles to place between your cheese and grapes.
The Hors D’oeuvres
Once your meat and cheese spreads are ready, start preparing hors d’oeuvres that require time in the oven to ensure they have ample time to cook but are still warm when guests arrive. To save time and avoid the frustration that often comes with making tedious finger foods, Amos uses frozen Private Selection appetizers. The coconut and sweet chili shrimp purses and smoky paprika shrimps wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon can be cooked in the oven simultaneously, making for an even more effortless appetizer option. When they’re finished cooking, Amos creates an elevated, flavorful display, pairing the shrimp purses with San-J Tamari gluten-free soy sauce and the shrimp with Kroger’s sweet chili sauce.
Country Ham & Biscuits
Country ham and biscuits may be known as a staple for Derby parties, but they also make a great grab-and-go option for your holiday party. Believe it or not, Amos found these bite-sized tea biscuits in Kroger’s freezer section! They’re the easiest alternative to homemade biscuits without sacrificing taste. To make these sandwiches, place your biscuits on a baking sheet and let them bake for about 15 minutes. When they’re done baking, allow them to cool for about five minutes before slicing them in half. From there, fold one piece of Clifty Farms Country Ham on each biscuit. To display these sandwiches, Amos uses a solid color serving stand. Note that if you choose to make all 24 biscuits, you can keep extras on low heat in the oven so you can quickly grab more if you need to replenish your spread.
And, of course, what’s a party without dessert? Amos offers two delicious options to top off a holiday soirée. First, he puts a unique twist on Santa’s favorite snack: milk and cookies. Start by gathering the ingredients, which include skim milk, Betty Crocker cupcake icing, strawberries, sprinkles and cupcake gems, paper straws, and Bakery Fresh Goodness Chocolate Brownies. Dip the rim of your glass into the chocolate of your choosing (we recommend a ganache or icing), and add the sprinkles and cupcake gems to the rim to resemble a wreath. However, wait until right before guests arrive to pour in the milk to ensure it’s not room temperature by the time they drink it. To make your “cookies,” add cupcake icing on top of the brownies. Cut off the top of the strawberries and place the berries top-down in the icing. Next, add a single dollop of icing so the berries resemble Santa hats. For an added dose of holiday spirit, line a serving platter with wrapping paper to display this dessert.
As a second dessert option, Amos suggests holiday-themed cake bars. He uses Ticklebelly Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cakebars, but you can pick any flavor that’s available at Kroger. Pull out the cake bar’s popsicle stick and replace it with a mini candy cane (with the straight end going into the bar). Line them up in a neat row just like stockings hung by the chimney.
A Welcome Cocktail
With all of the major work complete, it’s time to get ready to welcome your guests. And what is more welcoming than a delicious sparkling cocktail? Amos prepares these cocktails last to ensure they don’t melt by the time guests arrive. To create this festive libation, use an ice cream scoop-sized portion of Private Selection Raspberry Sorbet and drop it into a glass of LaMarca Prosecco Sparkling Wine. It’s cold, refreshing and has a delightful holiday color. Perfect!
And there you have it — a holiday party that can be prepared in just two hours!
This article is sponsored by Kroger.